If you're not into tech then you probably think this article is about Miami startups Panther Coffee and Wynwood Brewery, but in that same district of street art and hipsters are a network of hackers and entrepreneurs that have begun to boil over and it's getting pretty hot.
So hot that a Miami Chapter of Startup Grind is making a splash and is undoubtedly putting the stake in the ground, #MiamiTech is more than just a wave. It's no coincidence that former CEO of Apple, Inc. John Sculley has been making regular appearances in the South Florida Business Journal and was recently announced to have joined the Board of MDLive a South Florida tech company that just landed $23.6MM in a recent round of funding to virtualize your next doctor appointment.
As a city Miami has been "backed" by organizations that recognize its potential to boom. Organizations like the Knight Foundation have set their sights on Miami and regularly inject tech startup initiatives ranging from The LAB Miami co-working space to TEDxMiami and a grant to Endeavor a multi-national entrepreneurial movement that has made a mark with Endeavor Miami.
After the city's inhabitants came to understand what and why all these co-working spaces are, the incubators and accelerators quickly followed. Make no mistake, this didn't all just happen overnight; with 100+ events under its belt Refresh Miami has been beating our sun scorched pavement since early 2006 and now in 2014 they're picking up steam faster than ever. Maybe it's a good thing that the glitz and glam of Miami's party culture has taken main stage, because without the spotlight on them discrete techpreneurs like Jose Vargas have built and sold companies without alerting the radars. Jose and his partners have sold four companies for more than $100MM each in the past 12 years, yes, all launched from right here in sunny Miami, FL.
Not all Miami startups leverage the city's proximity to LATAM, but some of the ones that have are making a real difference in the lives of the people in these emerging markets. YellowPepper is making banking accessible by taking it mobile in Latin America and OpenEnglish, founded in 2006 has raised $116MM in capital to teach English to people in Spanish speaking countries. While their missions sound like charity, make no mistake, these are for profit companies who have found a respectable balance between making a difference and making a living.
So if you believe technology can make a difference in your life and in the World, join us at Startup Grind Miami and leverage the power of Miami's rapidly emerging startup community. Your first contribution can be as simple as your attendance to our inaugural event; an evening with Nancy Dahlberg author of the Miami Herald's startup and entrepreneurship blog The Starting Gate.
Inaugural Event: Startup Grind Miami Hosts: Nancy Dahlberg (Miami Herald: The Starting Gate)